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in the KNOW

January 14, 2016

Assembly Formally Elects Anthony Rendon as Speaker

RendonOn January 11, Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) was formally elected as the next Speaker of the California State Assembly. He will assume the office of the Speaker on March 7, 2016.

“I thank my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me and for this immense privilege to serve,” Rendon said. “We as policymakers have a great deal of work ahead of us to meet the challenges Californians demand we address.”

“The role of the Speaker in an era when members can serve up to 12 years is to maximize that potential by helping members develop greater expertise, pursue longer-term policy strategies, and perform more vital oversight,” Rendon said. Ag Council appreciates the emphasis on these areas and the desire to conduct a more in-depth examination of policy issues, as well as undertake a stronger oversight role.

In a bipartisan move, the new Assembly GOP Leader Chad Mayes, was among those who nominated Rendon for the speakership. Mayes said, “Doing so is contrary to a practice that goes back decades, and I’ve taken heat for doing so. But, it’s time for a change.”

Regarding his priorities, Rendon said, “With the annual budget process underway, my immediate priority is working with my colleagues to negotiate a budget that represents the values of the people of California.”

Rendon commended outgoing Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) stating, “One of the best aspects of Speaker Atkins’s leadership has been the manner in which she has empowered members and democratized the institution. This will also be my approach.”

Given the longer term limits in place, Rendon could potentially serve as Speaker until 2024.

This week, during a meeting with advocates in Sacramento, including Ag Council, Rendon further highlighted how he would handle his new leadership role. He said he would not author any bills in 2016 and would instead focus on his role of managing the Assembly.

Rendon also discussed his desire to “empower” committee chairs to “dig-in” regarding policy issues and allow the chairs to “stop bad bills,” which Ag Council believes is a positive move. In our view, too many measures are given courtesy votes during the committee process without a significant amount of analysis and debate and then sent to the floor for consideration by the full body. Strengthening the role of the committee chairs is an appropriate action to more thoroughly examine legislation before it moves to the floor of the Assembly.

Ag Council looks forward to working with Rendon in his new role as Speaker, and we extend our appreciation to outgoing Speaker Atkins for her outreach to our members and willingness to work on tough issues. For further details about Rendon, click HERE for his biography.